Was Russian dominion over Eastern Europe really that bad?

May 2018
100
Antarctica
#1
I'm not talking about the mass rapes the Red Army committed or the Holodomor Stalin created on Ukraine. Long before the Russian Revolution of 1918, the rise to power of the Bolsheviks and the creation of the Soviet Union, Russians already had a bad reputation among their Eastern European neighbors.

Why is that? Did Russians committed such horrible atrocities against the peoples they subjected? Or were they disliked the same way any people subjected to a foreign empire would dislike their rulers?

 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
18,713
SoCal
#2
I challenge your assumption here. After all, to my knowledge, Russia was looked at relatively favorably by the Slavic peoples in the Balkans and in Austria-Hungary before World War I.
 

Rodger

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
5,996
US
#3
Subjecting empires take on different roles. Some permit the conquered to operate somewhat autonomously, as long as they obey and pay taxes. Others wish to use the conquered territory for new markets and productions - or to take natural resources from the conquered land. Others wish to erase their culture and very being. In the partitioned part of Poland in the 19th and early 20th century, many Poles in Congress Poland, the latter seemed to be the objective of Czarist Russia.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russification_of_Poles_during_the_Partitions

And from this article, I found this quote
Tsar Nicholas I: No Poles! (1831)
"I don’t know if there ever will be a Poland, what I am sure of is that there will be no Poles."
https://culture.pl/en/article/when-...-reflect-on-the-partitions-a-stateless-nation
 
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Belgarion

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,649
Australia
#4
Given that the Hungarians, Czechs, Poles, Lithuanians, Estonians and Ukrainians -and probably others I have missed, all rebelled against USSR rule at some point it would seem to indicate these people found domination by the USSR so objectionable they were willing to risk their lives to fight it.
 
May 2018
100
Antarctica
#5
I challenge your assumption here. After all, to my knowledge, Russia was looked at relatively favorably by the Slavic peoples in the Balkans and in Austria-Hungary before World War I.
They were perhaps viewed as liberators by the Serbs and the Bulgars. Dunno about the opinion of the Croats, the Czechs or the Slovaks. And they were certainly not viewed as heroes by the Poles, lol.

Given that the Hungarians, Czechs, Poles, Lithuanians, Estonians and Ukrainians -and probably others I have missed, all rebelled against USSR rule at some point it would seem to indicate these people found domination by the USSR so objectionable they were willing to risk their lives to fight it.
I was talking about the Russian empire that existed BEFORE the rise to power of the Soviets. After the fall of the Romanovs, the Poles and the Finns were quick to declare themselves independent and they put up quite a fierce resistance when the Soviets tried to reconquer them. Finland was not part of the USSR and yet Finns don't seem to have a good opinion about them.
 
Jan 2016
1,135
Collapsed wave
#6
They were perhaps viewed as liberators by the Serbs and the Bulgars. Dunno about the opinion of the Croats, the Czechs or the Slovaks. And they were certainly not viewed as heroes by the Poles, lol.
Of course in every country there are some communists. They were certainly happy to have their country invaded by the Soviets. Masking as the so-called russo-philes they certainly were happy to have their ideology enforced by the strongest army at that time.

Bulgaria never declared war on Russia. Russia declared war on Bulgaria on sep. 5th 1944 and invaded without encountering any resistance.

Here are the events:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_history_of_Bulgaria_during_World_War_II

Bulgaria had maintained diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union while being a member of the Axis Powers. In the summer of 1944, after crushing the Nazi defences around Iași and Chișinău, the Soviet Army was approaching the Balkans and Bulgaria. On 23 August 1944, Romania left the Axis Powers and declared war on Germany, and allowed Soviet forces to cross its territory to reach Bulgaria. On 26 August, the Bulgarian government announced that it was neutral in the German-Soviet war and ordered German troops to leave the country. On the same date the Fatherland Front made the decision to incite an armed rebellion against the government. On 2 September Bozhilov's government fell and was replaced by a government led by Konstantin Muraviev made up of the opposition parties which were not members of the Fatherland Front. Support for the government was withheld by the Fatherland Front, accusing it of being composed of pro-Nazi circles attempting to hold on to power. On 5 September, the Soviet Union declared war on Bulgaria and three days later the Soviets crossed the border and occupied the north-eastern part of Bulgaria along with the key port cities of Varna and Burgas by the next day. The Bulgarian Army did not offer resistance by an order of the government.
What followed was a planned execution of the whole elite and systematic oppression Stalin style. Many people were unhappy about that as you may guess.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forced_labour_camps_in_Communist_Bulgaria
 
May 2018
100
Antarctica
#7
Of course in every country there are some communists. They were certainly happy to have their country invaded by the Soviets. Masking as the so-called russo-philes they certainly were happy to have their ideology enforced by the strongest army at that time.

Bulgaria never declared war on Russia. Russia declared war on Bulgaria on sep. 5th 1944 and invaded without encountering any resistance.

Here are the events:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_history_of_Bulgaria_during_World_War_II

What followed was a planned execution of the whole elite and systematic oppression Stalin style. Many people were unhappy about that as you may guess.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forced_labour_camps_in_Communist_Bulgaria
Once again, I was talking about the Russian empire under the tsars. Didn't it help the Bulgars free themselves from the Ottoman empire in the late nineteenth century?
 

Menshevik

Ad Honorem
Dec 2012
9,240
here
#9
Before 1918, Russia was regarded the savior of the Slavic peoples
It seems like this sentiment was more true the farther the Slavs in question were from Russia. The Serbs seemed to espouse this way of thinking because they oftentimes were looking for a savior to deliver them from the Turks or Austrians. But what about the Poles and Ukrainians? It seems they needed a savior to deliver them from Russia.

Also, Eastern Europe has more than just the Slavs. How did the people in the Baltic countries fare under Russian hegemony?
 
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